Throughout the novel, Rebecca, author Daphne du Maurier often reminds the reader of the constant battle of flesh versus spirit. This battle takes place between Rebecca, who takes the role of the spirit, in a sense that she died, but was never forgotten and always remembered as a perfect being who everyone loved. The flesh would be the role of Mrs. De Winter who married Rebecca's husband Maxim De Winter. Mrs. De Winter is compared in several ways to Rebecca because she is a shy woman who feels easily intimidated by what everyone else thinks of her and Rebecca. Being nothing but a memory, Rebecca has a strong impact on Mrs. De Winter's self esteem, and how she feels about Maxim and their relationship.
Mrs. De Winters never is presented with a name through the entire story, "Over the years many people have asked why the second Mrs. De Winter does not have a name.
Daphne's reply to this was that she could not think of one and it became a challenge in technique to write a whole story without naming her. It proved to be a very effective way of making the character appear to be a lesser person than Rebecca, so that she is less confidant, less capable, less attractive to Maxim. Not even a significant enough person to be named" (Willmore, 6).
In this book, several people make reference to Rebecca out of spite, to make Mrs. De Winter jealous of the fact that she could never stand up to the type of woman Rebecca was, or that she will never be as cherished and adored as Rebecca was. Mrs. De Winter is compared to Rebecca on several accounts as a great, warm hearted person. One of Mrs. De Winter's largest burdens is Mrs.